Provision of Reservation Fees Prior to Booking

After some research on train fares, I recentky bought two global passes for travel in France, Switzerland and from there to Prague. I then found out that I could not book direct with the SNCF but had to go to RailEurope, however, an inquiry to them, after providing specific trains, dates and times yielded an email saying to look on their web site,

Given the range of fees, that information on the web site, which I had already looked at, is next to useless. Depending on the cost and seat availability, I might be better off cancelling the pass and paying point to point. The main journeys are:-

1. Amiens to Paris, Paris (TGV) to Bern. (Lyria?)
2. Bern to Prague
3. Malaga to Madrid (recent addition to the list)

I note that someone in a similar thread had to pay 100 Euros per person reservation fee for the TGV from Paris to Basel. This is a similar journey to the one I am planning and if we have to pay the same fee, it would be cheaper to cancel the pass.

It must be possible to get the above information before booking otherwise an informed decision on the cost-effectiveness of the pass cannot be made.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) July 01, 2016 18:40
    Hi Bob,

    We recommend comparing both options before placing an order. I'm not able to speak to the SNCF website, but our website (www.raileurope.com) has the ability to sell rail passes, passholder reservations, and regular tickets. When considering the option of a rail pass, you would also want to be sure to factor in any reservation costs for the routes you'll be taking. It is also recommended that any passholder reservations be purchased within the same order as the rail pass itself.

    You would check passholder reservation costs (and purchase reservations) by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering a route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a 'Eurail Global Pass'). You would then add the cumulative amount of your reservations to the cost of the rail pass you're considering.

    The Eurail Global Pass doesn't provide for the same discount on the Paris-Basel TGV Lyria route as it does on the Paris-Bern TGV Lyria route (even though it's the same type of train). On the Paris-Basel route, the Eurail Global Pass would only qualify you for a rate called the 'Passholder 2' rate (which is more like a discounted rate for a regular ticket). On the Paris-Bern route, the Eurail Global Pass would qualify you for the regular 'Passholder 1' rate (which is more comparable to a regular reservation fee).

    Trains from Amiens  to Paris are Intercité trains. On these Intercité trains, reservations are only recommended, not required.

    The most feasible option from Bern to Prague is the overnight connection. This involves taking a train from Bern to Basel, where you would switch to an overnight train that goes directly to Prague (the 'Canopus' City Night Line train). Reservations are not at all necessary on the trains from Bern to Basel, but they would be required on the night train. Since it would be an actual sleeping space that's being reserved (instead of a seat), passholder reservations on night trains are generally more than they would be on day trains.

    Otherwise, a daytime connection from Bern to Prague takes over 11 hours in duration and involves taking a bus from Mannheim to Prague. On the trains from Bern to Mannheim, reservations aren't required, but they would be highly recommended. The buses from Mannheim to Prague do require reservations in addition to the pass; however, passholder reservations for the Mannheim-Prague buses are currently not able to be booked on our website. Therefore, if you'd like to inquire about reservations for the Mannheim-Prague buses, you would have to call us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600.

    From Malaga to Madrid, you would take a high-speed AVE trains, and reservations would be required.

    If you ever have questions about a particular route, you can always call us or send us an email at customercare@raileurope.com.
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